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Know your subject is key to beat fakenews

Fake news is wherever you put your eyes on. I mean, potentially. It is so easy to reverse a fact, and to tell a different story. How can we be sure that what we are told is depicted by a specific point of view, but it's actually close to fact and reality?

We don't.

We have to dig and to find a different source.

And to check images (as you may know they can be easily changed and photoshopped).


So how can we survive this jungle?


Personally, I admit I can't have a verified opinion on everything. I'd love to, but I can't.

So I select. As we all do. And if I'm asked about something I don't know, I prefer to be fair and say "I'm not prepared on this topic, but I will put a fix as soon as I can". (Which, BTW, I prefer to ASAP, because it's related to your effort and not time).

But when I do have an opinion it would be sustained by evidences, as many as I found and as many as I remember. If I don't remember, it's worthless.


I've learned the know the subject expression, and I love it.


The movie Miss Sloane is pretty clear about it and why it is crucial to be informed.

Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is a cutthroat lobbyist. She knows the subject, it's part of her work, and if she doesn't, she will politely move forward to the question, with a "No comment". But since you are off the record, you are not allowed to do so. Or as an outcome will end up alone with your glass of wine at any public situation.

This is how she succeed at her speech, bit per bit of the storyline.

Setting: They're talking about some random fact about sugar and cookies, and you - as audience - don't need to know why it is important and what they are referring to.

Target: Chastain addresses the question to the helpless intern. You can feel the same struggle of each oral exam at school. We are just like him: we don't know anything about the setting.

  1. We are just like everybody else in the room: totally unprepared.

  2. The story involves a priest and a nun, which immediately set the tone of voice: it's gonna be an holy story or a black irony? "This is offensive and inappropriate", said the guy with the coffee, who is perfectly aware of the twist at the end of the story.

  3. Then two, instead of usual three, repetition of the fact up to end of the story, but first: let's ask the audience if they know the subject. No raised hands, people lowering the gaze: nobody knows what Luke 14:10 says.

  4. She won't do the dirty work. She won't be the one throwing the solution at the table. (This is key to her character: she won't do anything in broad daylight, if she can have someone else doing it for her. She prefers work on the background), she asks to the guy to finish the story for her.

Resolution: Elizabeth is giving her final advice. She has made pretty clear that everybody at that table could not be found unprepared, as so do you.


So don't be fooled by fakenews, know your subject.


And to be precise, here's a full list of comparison of translation you can check, just for fun.

#fakenews #knowthesubject #misssloane

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